In the last few months I've focused on Fascism, Socialism, and Communism, which have led me in the direction of Nationalism. The first three are forms of government, and despite their varying effectiveness and inconsistencies, are legitimate because they have social/civil policies, economic policies, and legal policies. However, Nationalism isn't a form of government, yet a psychological perspective developed from a collective of people establishing their "nation's" identity, protecting that identity by exerting power--either actively or passively--over other "nations." Nation is parenthesized to indicate it's a collective of people strung together by similar beliefs and customs, rather than actually bound by geography. As I said in the previous essay, this psychological perspective turns others into Others; or dissociative entities ultimately destructive to the home Nation.
Having followed Nationalism's psychological trail of bread crumbs, I was naturally led to one of modern America's most popular Nationalist groups--white supremacists. (Not capitalizing the 'W' would irritate the supremacists, but that's the point; it doesn't get capitalized.) White supremacism is based on the belief that Aryans--or non-Jewish Indo-European Caucasians--are the purest form of human, because they haven't been tainted by any of the other races identified by modern race theory. Archaic Aryan race theory--as opposed to modern--was created by polygenist and alleged philosopher Christoph Meiners in 1785, who separated humankind into two groups: Caucasians, or light-skinned and beautiful people; and Mongolians, or dark-skinned and ugly people. I don't exaggerate. Whether you invest in archaic or modern race theory is irrelevant, because both systems categorize "goodness" across two variants: skin color and amount of beauty. If you're light-skinned, you're inherently more beautiful (and better) than Native Americans, or Chinese, or Africans, whom all fall into the Mongolian category. If you're light-skinned and exceptionally beautiful, not only are you more beautiful than all Mongolians, but you're the archetype for all Caucasians.
I watched an interview from 1991 between Christopher Hitchens and John Metzger, at the time a budding white supremacist. John's father, Tom, was a popular and well-known white supremacist, Grand-Dragon of the KKK at that point, and creator of WAR--White Aryan Resistence. To frame this discussion, I won't be talking how racism or race supremacism is morally bad and destructive to future, or morally good or beneficial to our future. What I will be talking about are the tenets of Aryan Nationalism, and how it's developed over the past century.
When the Klan began, they were fundamentally vicious and malevolent. The hierarchy of Klansmen at that point excluded women, and chillingly reflected the hierarchy of normative society: doctors, lawyers, politicians, police, etc. It wasn't some messy back-water operation either--although it got messy at times--but was a well-collected and connected group of middle-aged white men with money and gall. It was nothing like the troubled youths you may hear about, stomping around in Doc Martens with red suspenders and shaved heads. Sure, those youths believe in white supremacy, but the original Klan killed your husband, hunted you down after they heard you disapproved, hung you upside down, lit you on fire, then cut open your pregnant belly and killed your eight-month old fetus as you burned. (This is 21 year old Mary Turner's story.) The original Klan was uncontrollably and viciously Nationalistic, manifesting their beliefs imperialistically, or through actively dominating and destroying whom they decided was their enemy. Their enemy, mind you, were non-whites living amidst the whites, poisoning the pure and beautiful genetic Aryan pool.
The Klan over time lost their ability to massacre other humans, due to murderous events like Mary Turner and her husband, Hayes. This mob-fueled racial vigilantism caused the Klan to restructure itself--there have been three "Klans" since they were conceived in 1865--because the United States government got more and more involved in putting a stop to their tactics. Since the Klan has been progressively identified as a terrorist organization detrimental to America, their Imperialistic Nationalism has morphed into something else to preserve itself; Separatist.
The difference between Imperialism and Separatism is stark. Where Imperialism actively dominates Others, Separatism merely drives to separate itself from the Others. This type of Nationalistic thinking was represented by John Metzger in his interview with Christopher Hitchens, in stating that it's a scientific fact that races exist, and that attitudes follow. Further, that Separatism isn't merely promixal, it's mentally apathetic and relativistic. When Hitchens asked Metzger to expound upon statements he made that either denied or reduced the Holocaust, Metzger answered that "since it was fifty years in the past, he didn't care if it happened or not." When Hitchens got Tom Metzger--John's father and Grand Dragon of the KKK--on the phone, he answered with the same candor. Neither one of them could bother to muster a shred of perspective or empathy to "care enough" to judge millions of people torn from their houses and killed. An Imperialist Nationalist would've cheered, however the Separatist shrugged his shoulders and focused on white unity.
Those two forms of Nationalism approach empathy similarly, but with one big difference. Whereas Separatism mutes empathy altogether because that's the best way to stay away from the human disease that "only exists because it's illegal to kill them," Imperialism doesn't ignore the Other because it needs to acknowledge them to identify how best to overtake them. This doesn't make them by definition empathic because they're quite delusional and self-interested, however to dominate you need to accept that the Other actually exists. So the progression of white supremacy has gone from brutal Imperialism to cold, disconnected separatism. Although there are less lynchings and more rights for non-whites, I'm not sure the main problem has been solved, just the symptoms.
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